CUCMS students help to provide healthcare screening in Vientinne, Laos | Cyberjaya University College of Medical Sciences

“CUCMS students have often championed the welfare of the poor in Malaysia, and now we are taking this one step further. In fact, this has been a valuable experience for all of us,” – Rib’e Mohd Parid, Project Manager of LIFE 2016.

CUCMS students help to eradicate poverty in Laos

Cyberjaya, 08 August 2016 – Over 40 students from Cyberjaya University College of Medical Sciences (CUCMS) recently held an international humanitarian programme to Vientinne, Laos. Dubbed the Laos International Family Endeavour (LIFE 2016), the programme was held between 12 to 19 July 2016 and aimed to provide much needed healthcare screening and medical assistance to the poor communities in Vientiane. The programme was deemed a success thanks to the exemplary commitment shown by students from the faculties of medicine, pharmacy and health sciences.

World Bank in their report “Drivers of Poverty Reduction in Lao PDR 2015” stated that despite tremendous economic growth and reduction in poverty levels among its population, Laos’ marginal poor or 10 percent of the population still facing the possibility of falling back into severe poverty. This drove the CUCMS student body to set their sights on this community who were in need of help.

“Laos was chosen because of its poverty level where 70 to 80 percent of the citizens are close or below the poverty level,” said Rib’e Mohd Parid, Project Manager of LIFE 2016. “CUCMS students have often championed the welfare of the poor in Malaysia, and now we are taking this one step further. In fact, this has been a valuable experience for all of us,” he added.

With the theme “Loving the country, Learning the culture and Lending a hand” the participants focused on providing health services, medical care, education and welfare support. These students efforts are in line with the university’s vision of Nurturing Passion to Care among its graduates.

The team visited the Bhan Phon Sawattaya village, Masjid Azhar, Masjid Jamek, University Health And Science Lao PDR and the University of Lao. There were several activities have been conducted such as home visitation, medical check-up, donation distribution, a mini library project, livelihood skills support, educational support programme, community outreach and university visits.

Education is important in life as it gives people the ability and skills to navigate the world and increase the nation’s economy. However, some people has the privilege to go to school and acquire skills whereas some who are less fortunate cannot afford to have basic needs in life. The pressing situation in Lao has put its citizens in a very difficult position and unable to provide education for their children.

Imam Vina bin Ahmad, an Imam of Masjid al-Azhar said, “Education is only for the people who can afford it, tuition fee for government schools will cost USD100 a year while private school fee is a whopping at USD200 per year. We simple can’t afford it and so the underprivileged people need much help in this area.”

The team has set up a mini library named as Aini Othman’s & LIFE, the one-stop centre acts as a knowledge resource centre with books and other reading materials for the children. Other than that, the delegate also run programmes such as LIFE Educational Support and LIFE Livelihood Skills Workshop to provide them with a kick-start to a long-term investment in improving their socio-economic development towards a better future.

LIFE 2016 serves as a platform to increase the awareness among students on the importance of humanitarian support. It is essential to instill good values in every student and shaping their personality to help nurture a caring and empathetic healthcare professional.

At CUCMS students are encouraged to participate in various humanitarian programmes that help them improve their softskills. It is hopped that with a hands-on experience, they will better understand the skills they acquired from their studies and put them to effective use.

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